When asked in 1991 to describe an obstacle he had faced during his lifetime and the subsequent effect of his overcoming it, author Ray Bradbury replied to schoolteacher William Stanhope with the following letter. His inspiring response, along with those of a slew of other high-profile personalities, was then used to teach a class of Stanhope’s.
ray bradbury enterprises
los angeles, california 90064
dear william stanhope:
most important decision i ever made came at age 9…i was collecting BUCK ROGERS comic strips, 1929, when my 5th grade classmates made fun of me. I tore up the strips. A week later, broke into tears. Why was I crying? I wondered. Who die? Me, was the answer. I have torn up the future. What to do about it? Start collecting BUCK ROGERS again. Fall in love with the Future! I did just that. And after that never listened to one damnfool idiot classmate who doubted me! What did I learn? To be myself and never let others, prejudiced, interfer with my life. Kids, do the same. Be your own self. Love what YOU love.
(Signed, ‘RAY B.’)